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Discover the best things to do in Budapest with kids with more than 15 fun activities and attractions the whole family will love. Find out how to spend a memorable stay in the family-friendly city of Budapest.
Visiting Budapest With Kids: Is It Child-Friendly?
Budapest is a town split by the famous Danube River. And we can tell you for sure the scenery here is breath-taking. The hilly side is Buda in the West area of the city, while the flat area is represented by Pest on the East bank.
Budapest is one of the rare capitals in the globe that has its own thermal springs.
Still, if you’re travelling with your family to Budapest, you might wonder if there are some family-friendly activities to explore with kids. Rest assured, we’ve got you covered!
We visited Budapest with our toddler and pre-school aged kids, and even at those ages, we found loads to do as a family during our 4-day stay. It was an easy city to explore, catering to all types of travellers.
Quick Tips For Visiting Budapest
- Visit during off-peak times when there are fewer crowds
- Budapest is very hot in summer – don’t forget sunscreen and hats
- To save on accommodation, stay just outside the city and walk or transit into the centre
- We use Booking.com and Airbnb most often for accommodation
- For attractions and tours, we recommend Get Your Guide
- Stay somewhere with a kitchenette so you can make some of your own foods – they have great supermarkets everywhere
The Best Things To Do In Budapest With Kids
We have shared with you our list with top things to do in Budapest with kids so you can make the best of this experience!
1. Buda Castle & the Funicular
Of course, the main attraction in the city is the Buda Castle. And if you’re planning to explore Budapest with kids, we highly encourage you to start here. This is a palace complex at the top of the Buda Hills.
But what we love about this the most is the fact that you can take children on a ride with the Funicular. This is one of the surviving traditional Funiculars in the world that still functions. Your children will love travelling up the hill and it sure beats walking up!
2. Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden
Budapest Zoo is one of the earliest zoos on the globe and was opened back in the 1820s. And it is classified as one of the most beautiful zoological gardens in Europe.
Thus, if you’re looking for things to do with kids in Budapest, a visit here can get you all the chance to feed giraffes, admire tigers up-close, or simply stroll along with the butterfly enclosure.
3. Margaret Island
Margaret Island in Budapest, known locally as Margitsziget Park, is one of the most scenic outdoor areas in Budapest. It is also a wonderful place to enjoy fresh air and nature with your kids.
There is plenty to see and do around the city park of Margaret Island, located Margaret Bridge & Arpad Bridge, and easily reached by public transport.
One of the most famous attractions on Margaret Island is the Music Fountain with water jets set to the music of popular songs, such as The Beatles. At night, the water jets a lit up with colourful lights, making it a cool sight any time of the day.
There is plenty more to do as well. Here are some of the best things to do on Margaret Island:
- Playgrounds & sandpit
- Bike cart hire
- Petting zoo with pony rides
- Public swimming pool
- Restaurants and bars
- Walkways and running tracks
4. Palatinus Baths
Another thing you can do in Budapest with kids is spending your day at the Baths. As mentioned above, this is one of the few cities on the globe with thermal springs, so you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit one.
Budapest is famous for thermal pools, but for children, the open-air pools are far more family-friendly. This is why Palatinus Baths and Lido, located on Margaret Island, are a far better option when looking for things to do in Budapest with kids.
Palatinus has over a dozen pools filled with natural spring water, ranging from cold, cool and hot temperatures. This was Budapest’s first outdoor thermal baths which is now both indoor and outdoor and they are open all year round.
You will find slides and an artificial wave pool. There is also plenty for the adults looking to enjoy the relaxing benefits of a thermal bath visit, with a day spa and treatments available too.
Can We Visit The Indoor Thermal Baths With Kids?
If you do still want to visit one of the indoor thermal baths in Budapest, we recommended either Széchenyi Thermal Bath or Gellert Baths. We went to Gellert Baths, which as an outdoor wave pool that is suitable for visiting with kids.
The heated thermal pools are not recommended for children under 14 and children who are not yet potty-trained are not allowed to enter the pools at all. This is why Palatinus Baths are still a better option for families.
5. City Park
While visiting Budapest Zoo, you might as well stick around and enjoy some of the other fun family attractions in Budapest while you’re there.
In City Park, Budapest’s largest park, you will find more than enough to fill a full day with kids. Some attractions run all year round with others only during certain seasons of the year.
Here are some of the best things to do in City Park Budapest:
- Vajdahunyad Castle – Replica of the Transylvanian castle of the same name
- City Park Ice Skating Rink – Open during the winter months
- Széchenyi Baths – Thermal bathhouse
- Municipal Circus – Traditional circus open all year round
- Vidámpark Amusement Park – Classic amusement park with a Ferris wheel and wooden roller coaster
- Museum of Transport – Vintage cars, motorbikes and carriages
6. Erzsébet Square
Another exciting thing we recommend for you when visiting Budapest with kids is to take the time to explore Erzsébet Square. It is known as Elizabeth Square, and it represents a central attraction for those looking to have fun.
It includes a skate park, water fountains, a giant Ferris wheel, and plenty of space for your kids to explore. There are quite a few bars and restaurants around the area too, so it is a great place to have lunch or dinner as well.
And a visit to Budapest with kids isn’t complete if you don’t explore the Miniversum. This is a one-of-a-kind museum, packed with a series of miniature models depicting important landmarks from Budapest, Hungary, Austria, and Germany.
The precision of these models is outstanding, and we can tell you with certainty that it will entice both your imagination and your children’s. This place required over a year to be created, and it reveals to the public more than 5000 characters designed by hand.
8. Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
Sometimes it is the simple things that kids love best and our kids were thrilled about riding the hop on hop off buses around town. We booked with Big Bus Tours, just because it also included entry into a few attractions we were planning to visit.
The buses have electronic guided tour information as you tour around town. They stop at many of the most popular tourist hot spots, giving plenty of places to get off and explore along the way. This is a great option if you have no car.
The kids especially loved sitting at the top of the double-decker buses.
9. Hungarian Natural History Museum
The Hungarian Natural History Museum houses the largest collection of Hungary’s natural history artefacts. With some permanent displays and many new and unique limited-time exhibits, the museum offers a fun educational experience for all ages.
Kids will especially love the interactive exhibits. And the dinosaurs, because kids love dinosaurs. Plus the coral reefs beneath the glass floor is incredible to see.
10. Take A River Cruise
Taking a cruise up the Danube River is iconic must-do Budapest. Visiting with kids is no exception to this and most kids love the idea of travelling by boat.
We took an evening cruise to see the famous sights lit up at night, such as the Budapest Parliament Building, Buda Castle and the many impressive bridge structures connecting the two sides of the city.
Most of the Budapest have some drinks and food on the cruises, and some offer dinner cruises as well. We made sure to pack a few extra snacks as younger kids can get a bit restless after a while.
Here are some of the best Budapest river cruises:
- 1-hour sightseeing cruise with welcome drink
- I-hour daytime sightseeing cruise
- 90-minute evening cruise with live music & drinks
- 90-minute dinner cruise with live music
11. Centre Of Scientific Wonders
The Budapest CSOCPA science museum at the Buda Entertainment & Gastro Centre has a little something fun for everyone. Learn through interactive displays and educational exhibits all about the ways of the world.
Kids will love the hands-on learning opportunities throughout Scientific Wonders, making it a wonderful indoor activity in Budapest.
12. Children’s Railway
Children’s Railway, or Gyermekvasút, was built after World War II and originally called Pioneer’s Railway. The train is run by children under the supervision of adult railway workers and it is a fun way to explore Buda Hills.
All seven stops along the Children’s Railway route are popular recreational areas to hop off and enjoy:
- Csillebérc– Challangeland zip-line is located here
- János Hill – The highest peak in Budapest
- Hüvösvölgy – Site of a popular Budapest restaurant Náncsi Néni
- Vadaspark – Protected forest and a small petting zoo
- Normafa – Breathtaking scenery and views
13. Hungarian Railway Museum
If you want to take your train appreciation to the next level, the Hungarian Railway Museum is another must-visit. With a large collection of historic trains and many of which children can climb on and explore.
There is a miniature children’s railway replica that they can ride as well as a ride on hand draisine. On special days of the year, you can even ride on a horse-drawn train carriage and other novelty transports.
The museum closes over the winter months, so be sure to check their website for opening times and special events.
Challengeland (Kalandpálya) is perfect for adventure seekers of all ages. They have several zip-line courses, ranging from short and low kid-friendly options to higher and more thrilling rides for adults.
This huge adventure playground is located in the Buda Hills, allowing you to zip through the woods, explore an underground labyrinth, go on a canopy or scale the climbing wall.
They provide all the gear you need with the admission price so you can thoroughly enjoy your time at Challengeland.
For a similar experience with different courses, try Orczy Kalandpark as well.
15. Visit Central Market Hall
The Great Market Hall in Budapest is a massive indoor marketplace spanning multiple levels. Inside you will find just about everything – delicious Hungarian delicacies, fresh produce and meat, souvenirs and handcrafted items, clothing and more.
For kids, this is a fun place to grab something yummy to eat. There are loads of takeaway options available and sweet treats.
It’s also a fun place to do some shopping, picking up some traditional Hungarian wares or fun toys.
Whether you are visiting Budapest for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, you will find plenty of family fun and kid-friendly attractions to fill your stay.
Check out these tips for planning family vacations: